Shadow Skill: Mock. A laughing whinny that brings to the forefront of the mind, a person’s shortcomings in order to make them utterly lose faith in themselves and their abilities.
Rapidash can go from 0 to 150 in ten steps. They are a sight to behold when they race, for the faster they go, the hotter their mane burns. Highly competitive, they can often be seen challenging others to races. Shadows seem to desire a win, and will play dirty to achieve it.
Angel opened her eyes to a bright light shining directly in her face, followed by the voice of someone demanding to know who she was and what she was doing in their stables. She raised a hand to shield her eyes from the flashlight, but the person didn’t lower the beam. They yelled the question again, and she knew she must come up with something quickly to prevent this from becoming a public scene. “Sorry for the intrusion. I brought an injured Pokémon in here to rest. It must have wandered off when I fell asleep.”
After several seconds, the figure lowered the light, and Angel blinked her eyes repeatedly to get her vision back faster. She didn’t recognize the person. Although, she had no reason to, as she’d never been to Vermilion City before. Her father had come to Saffron on many occasions, but he never took her with, what with the Silph Company being so secretive about their projects.
In her mind, the person using a flashlight finally connected to the fact that it was night time, and she swore under her breath before quickly standing up. “I’m sorry. I have to go! I’m late. Ack! Usually I have a good head on my shoulders, but I can’t believe I nodded off.” She ran towards the person, who, surprisingly moved out of the way to let her pass.
Thoughts rushed rapidly through her mind as she paused long enough to get her bearings before heading towards the target. There was now no time to verify anything regarding Team Rocket’s plans. She would just have to steal the item and deal with the consequences later.
As she maneuvered her way through the obstacle course of a city, she heard a loud neigh. Angel caught a glimpse of purple out of the corner of her eye, and she skidded to a halt to get a better look at the creature. It was another Shadow. What?! These were supposed to be rare beings. How had she stumbled across three in just as many days?
Instead of halting with her, the Shadow, a Rapidash it seemed, continued past her for a couple dozen feet before it realized the race was off. The horse turned back to her, the brightness of its flaming mane dimming as it trotted to her.
Once before her, the Rapidash, female it seemed, snorted, and made a motion with her front two hooves, then threw her head in the direction of the tower. When she looked back at Angel, she repeated the same action, as if trying to communicate.
“Do you—Do you want to race?”
Rapidash gave a loud whinny, and reared. Her front feet danced in midair, but she took care not to hurt Angel in her excitement. The Shadow hopped beside her in such a way that she couldn’t help but laugh as she thought of the pink Ponyta from that one children’s cartoon. What was her name? Pinkie Pie! The Rapidash gave her a strange look, probably wondering what she found so funny, but Angel shook her head and got into starting position. “On the count of three. One. Two—”
The Shadow whinnied again, and sped off, leaving a cloud of dust in her wake. “Oh-hoh. So that’s how you want to play, is it?” Angel began to run as well, though she knew there was no way she’d be able to win against the Rapidash, even on fair terms. But still, she could enjoy this little moment for what it was.
After a few minutes, Angel came to a halt across the street from the Silph Company. The Rapidash was strutting back and forth on the pavement, acting as if her win were the most spectacular thing in the world. Angel patted her on the nose. “Good job, darling.”
As she stared at the building, an idea came to her. It was so very risky, and not something she would normally do, but she was out of time. “Hey. Mind doing me a favor?”
Rapidash looked at her and let out a soft, questioning neigh.
Angel didn’t respond immediately, for she still wasn’t certain this was a good idea. But risk not, want not. “There is something inside that building I need. It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide a distraction for me.”
With absolutely no hesitation, and without the promise of a reward, Rapidash gladly rushed the building and began wreaking havoc. Angel waited a little bit just to make sure most of the employees had went off chasing her.
Suddenly concerned, she brought out Dreamer. Originally, her plan had been to use Ebony and Dreamer to sneak into the facility. With Ebony being Melanistic, and Dreamer’s colors the reverse of a normal Absol, shadows and the cover of night would have been of tremendous help to them.
Despite the fact Absol were known to be unlucky, she considered Dreamer one of her most precious lucky charms. That’s not to say things had never gone wrong around him. Just, when they did, it wasn’t so horribly, irreparably wrong.
She knelt, placing her hands on Dreamer’s cheeks, and gave him a kiss on the nose. “Hey darling. Do you see that Rapidash over there? I need you to help her out in her mayhem. Just long enough for momma to go inside and get something. Can you do that for me?”
Dreamer cried out agreement, licked Angel once on the nose, and then went to help Rapidash. Only then did Angel finally run across the street to enter the facility.
The blueprints instantly came back to her, and she knew exactly where to go. Regardless, it took her ten minutes of stealthing through the place until she reached the bio hazard lab. There was a sign on the door that warned people from entering unless they wore a hazmat suit. But according to the dossier, it was just a sign to deter the unclearanced from entering the room and seeing what was being made.
Her head turned left, then right, checking for people in the area. When she saw none, Angel typed in the first keycode listed on the papers, crossing her fingers that it worked. If it didn’t, it meant that she’d been too late, and it had been two weeks since the codes were last changed. Thankfully, the device clicked, and the light turned green as the door hissed open.
Knowing Dreamer and Rapidash couldn’t keep everyone distracted for much longer, she quickly scanned the giant room, looking for the item in particular she’d been sent to obtain. Unfortunately, the layout had changed from when she’d been given the data. That shouldn’t be a problem, though. What she sought was clearly identifiable. And yup. It didn’t take much longer to find the glowing pink containers.
Dropping the knapsack from her shoulders, she opened it, and gently stuffed the vials into the bottom. Although she fit several in, she could not fit all. But there was no time to rearrange her pack, so, assuming it wouldn’t matter much, she left three of the vials in the container, and then went to the window.
Angel opened it, placed two fingers in her mouth, and gave a loud, piercing whistle. Within seconds, Dreamer and the Rapidash appeared. As soon as they were close enough, she leapt out the window, deftly landing on Rapidash, though she did wince at the pain of the landing. For a split second, she wondered if that act had hurt the Shadow, but she cast that thought and any others aside to focus on later. Before doing anything else, she returned Dreamer to his pokéball.
Just as she was getting ready to turn Rapidash into a gallop, a voice called out to her. One that she recognized. Her gaze turned to the window she’d just leapt out of, and she found herself unable to breathe at the visage of the person who looked down at her.
A bark sounded, distracting her, and when she glanced back at the window, nobody was there. Angel had to shake her head to clear her thoughts, reminding herself yet again that not only was there no way it could be her, but that now was not the time.
She had no clue where to go next, or what she planned on doing now. The only thing she knew for certain is that she did not plan on taking this to Team Rocket instantly. Giovanni wouldn’t, or at least, shouldn’t, mind if she was a few days late. And this at least gave her the chance to finally do some digging.